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Character Animation Technique Produces Realistic-Looking Bends at Joints

By Phys.org

July 22, 2016

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Disney researchers have developed a method to pre-compute an optimized center of rotation for each vertex in a character model, and those centers of rotation could be the basis for calculating how the skin around each joint is deformed as it is bent.

"The pre-computation enabled us to significantly reduce the joint distortions that often plague these animations, preserving the volume of the skin surface around the joint," says Disney Research's Jessica Hodgins. In addition, she says this method can be dropped into the standard animation pipeline.

Currently, two skinning methods, called linear blend skinning (LBS) and dual quaternion skinning (DQS), are widely used in computer game engines, virtual reality engines, and in three-dimensional animation software. However, researchers say both methods have difficulty with certain poses.

Disney postdoctoral researcher Binh Huy Le says pre-computing the centers of rotation solves this issue by improving the ability to properly weight the influence of each bone in the joint on the skin deformation. Le notes the new method minimizes or eliminates the volume losses associated with LBS and the bulging associated with DQS.

The researchers will present the skeletal skinning method next week at the ACM SIGGRAPH 2016 conference in Anaheim, CA.

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